On some positive effects of swirling flow for the continuous cast mould billets

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Continuous caster moulds are the last and most important stage in the steelmaking process, where inclusions can either be generated or removed. With increasing casting speed using conventional immersion nozzles critical problems, such as unstable bulk mould flow have been noticed. Mould flux entrapment due to vortex and shearing action from the oscillating surface waves have become of particular concern. It is therefore necessary to have a calm inlet flow at the entrance of the mould. Recently, it has been acknowledged that a swirl blade placed at the upstream of the immersion nozzle effectively resolves the problems arising from unstable bulk mould flow. Therefore, to increase the knowledge of effect of swirling flow on the flow pattern in the mould, fundamental mathematical models of a billet mould equipped with a swirl blade in the nozzle have been developed. The model was used to study the effect of divergent angle of the immersion nozzle and mould aspect ratio on the flow field and temperature distribution inside billets moulds. Data from water model experiments were used to verify the mathematical model predictions. A fairly good agreement was found between physical modeling data and predictions, which ensured that the numerical model is reliable. Thereafter, the differences between square and round billet moulds were studied. Next, the effect of changing aspect ratio of the rectangular mould on the fluid flow and heat transfer, while keeping mould surface area constant, was studied. Two types of immersion nozzles, bottomless and conventional, were also analyzed during the research. The model moulds were changed gradually from a square billet with an aspect ratio of 1x1 to a rectangular billet with an aspect ratio of 3x1. First, the temperature and velocity distributions were calculated. Later, unsteady calculations were done to determine velocity fluctuations on the meniscus level for two types of nozzles and several moulds geometries.